Rick Perry: Official Unemployment Rate Has ‘Been Doctored’

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry pumps his fist as he walks on stage during the Freedom Summit, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) doesn’t trust reports on the current unemployment rate, and told a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Iowa that the rate has been “massaged, it’s been doctored.” Dave Weigel of Bloomberg, who was in attendance, posted the remarks on Twitter.

It’s not clear what Perry is basing this comment on. As Danny Vinik at The New Republic points out, the national unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 7.8 percent in 2012 and then rose again and then fell again from 8 percent to 7.2 percent in 2013. It would be a bizarre move for the White House to raise the unemployment rate and then lower it again.

The current unemployment rate is 5.6 percent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested earlier in the month that the improving economy was thanks to the new Republican majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives. That comment provoked snide chuckling from the Democratic National Committee.

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